October 23rd, 2010 • 3:00pm CDT Jacksonville, AL • JSU Stadium (24,000)
APSU Men’s Football
Clarksville, TN – Since rejoining the Ohio Valley Conference the Governors own a 0-3 record against Jacksonville State, including last season’s 28-10 loss in Clarksville.
Austin Peay enters the contest on a three-game losing streak. The Govs have endured at least a three-game losing streak in seven of the last eight seasons.
Jacksonville State currently is ranked No. 3 in both Football Championship Subdivision major polls (The Sports Network/Fathead.com and FCS Coaches Poll). The No. 3 ranking is the highest for JSU since moving up to Division I-AA/FCS in 1995. It also is the highest ranking by an OVC program since Tennessee State was ranked No. 1 in 1999.
Austin Peay comes into the game ranked 110th (out of 117 teams) or higher in four defensive categories–rushing defense (114th/252.17.20 ypg), total defense (110th/441.50 ypg) and scoring defense (113th/38.33 ppg). The Governors have permitted four teams to rush for more than 200 single-game yards, including Southeast Missouri, which finished with 297 yards rushing
Austin Peay has allowed 34 or more points in all four losses this season, including 41 by Southeast Missouri
Austin Peay is ranked 109th out of 117 teams in time of possession, averaging just 26.47 minutes per game. SEMO held a 35:50-to-24:10 time-of-possession advantage, Saturday, including 18:35 to 11:25 in the second half.
Austin Peay enters Saturday’s contest with a 93-163-2 OVC record (36.4 percent) compared to 51-96 (34.7 percent) by Southeast Missouri.
Austin Peay has enjoyed only 18 winning seasons in 73 years of football and only two winning seasons since the turn of the century–a 7-5 mark in 2002 as a non-scholarship program and a 7-4 record in 2007 in Rick Christophel’s first season.
Gamecocks To Watch
Junior quarterback Marques Ivory, replacing OVC Player of the Year Ryan Perrilloux, has completed 91 of 158 passes (57.6 percent) for 1076 yards and 9 TDs. His backup, Coty Blanchard, who also serves as punter, has 182 yards rushing and has thrown for 250 yards and six TDs. The favorite receiver has been John Houston Whiddon with 21 catches for 223 yards…However, it has been James Shaw and Jeffrey Cameron on the receiving end of four TD passes apiece.
Meanwhile, the running back duo Calvin Middleton (306 yards) and Jamal Young (305 yards) each have rushed for more than 300 yards. Defensively, strong side linebacker Antonio Bonner leads the way with 48 tackles, including 31 initial hits…Fellow backer Rodney Garrott has 38 stops, including eight for loss, while on the other side Morrell Jones has 36 stops, including five for loss. Defensive end Marquis George has 5.5 tackles for loss. Safety Keginald Harris has five pass interceptions and five more break ups.
Setting The Scene
The Series: APSU trails the series, 6-11-3
Last Meeting: October 31st, 2009: Jacksonville State 28, Austin Peay 10
The Govs rejoined the OVC for football in 2007 after returning to scholarship football in 2006. The Govs finished sixth in the OVC a year ago with a 3-5 league mark and were 4-7 overall. The Govs are picked to finish tied for seventh in 2010. Meanwhile, Jacksonville State is back to competing for both the OVC crown and NCAA postseason after being ineligible for both a year ago because of NCAA APR penalties. JSU enters the contest with 11 straight wins–dating back to last season, including a road win at Ole Miss. They are ranked No. 3 in the most recent FCS polls and already have secured their 42nd winning season.
The running conscious Governors opened the Southeast Missouri game in a four-wideout offensive set, playing both T.C. Jennings and Scott Thomas on the opening snap.
When Ryan White slashed his way for a 13-yard TD with 8:10 left in the first quarter, it was the Governors first first-quarter TD this season. The Govs then added another first-period touchdown when Terrence Holt raced 27 yards to put APSU up 14-0.
Running back Ryan White, the 2009 OVC rushing leader, rushed for 79 yards on 16 carries against Southeast Missouri. White has had one 100-yard rushing performance so far this season, that (112 yards) coming against Tennessee State, September 18th. That also was White’s eighth career 100-yard rushing performance.
After the first four weeks, the Govs were efficient in the Red Zone, scoring 9 times in 10 opportunities, including four TDs and five field goals. However, APSU only scored twice in four chances in the Red Zone against Tennessee Tech. The Governors bounced back to score both times they were in the Red Zone, Saturday, but SEMO was five-of-six, all five being touchdowns.
Sophomore quarterback Jake Ryan completed 16 of 32 passes for 182 yards against Southeast Missouri. Four different receivers caught three passes for the Govs: Scott Thomas, T.C. Jennings, Devin Stark and Terrence Holt.
Senior wide receiver T.C. Jennings, who converted to the position from quarterback a year ago, caught his first career TD pass, a 28 yarder from Jake Ryan in the third quarter.
Sophomore wide receiver Devin Stark has been nothing but versatile this season. At Tennessee State, September 18th, he carried the ball on a reverse for 13 yards. In the season opener, he threw the Govs’ first TD pass of the season, a 30-yard strike. He also had five catches for 109 yards, including a 41-yard catch at TSU. After catching 5 passes for 52 yards against Tennessee Tech, he had three catches for 35 yards against Southeast Missouri.
After catching just one total pass in the season’s first two games, Adrian Mines, the Govs’ leading receiver the past two seasons, had 7 catches for 84 yards against Tennessee State, including the seven-yard snag and stretch for the game-winning TD with 40 seconds left. He also had five catches, including an eight-yard TD reception against Tennessee Tech. He had two catches against SEMO.
Quarterback Jake Ryan, after setting career highs for TD passes (2), yards (224), and completions (16) at Middle Tennessee, enjoyed a strong performance against Tennessee State. He completed 13 of 21 passes for 178 yards and one TD. He was a perfect 4-for-4 for 49 yards on the game-winning drive, including the TD pass to Adrian Mines. Ryan broke his own personal best for completions with 17 (25 attempts) against Tennessee Tech.
After forcing eight turnovers in the first two games, the Govs defense has been able to force just one turnover in the last four games, that occurring on SEMO’s first possession, Saturday night.
Defensive tackle Antonio Faulkner recorded six tackles, including two for loss, against Southeast Missouri. Faulkner is ranked tied for 42nd in FCS statistics in tackles for loss, averaging 1.25 per game. In fact, he is the only Governor this year with more than one tackle for loss in a game.
Sophomore free safety Antwaun Majors, who took over the position after JayR Harper tore his Achilles tendon during summer practice, finished with a game-high 17 tackles against Southeast Missouri. Majors is the first Govs player to have more than 16 tackles in a game since Daniel Becker had 19 tackles against Tennessee State, September 15th, 2007. Majors now has a team-best 51 stops and has led the Govs or been the team co-leader in tackles for three straight games.
Sophomore linebacker Zac Burkhart returned to the starting lineup after missing four games with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. He finished with eight tackles, including a sack against Tennessee Tech. He had nine tackles plus a fumble recovery against Southeast Missouri.
Senior defensive tackle Antonio Faulkner came up big against Tennessee Tech. He finished second on the team in tackles with eight, including two for loss.
Defensive tackle Steven Johnson returned to the starting lineup against Tennessee Tech after sitting out the Wisconsin contest with shoulder issues. However, Johnson reinjured his shoulder in the second half against Tennessee Tech. He left the game with five tackles and missed the Southeast Missouri contest. He will not play this week.
True freshman were responsible for 23 of the Governors’ 96 tackles against Southeast Missouri, led by cornerbacks Tyreon Clark (seven tackles) and Steven Ragin (six).
In two games against FBS teams, the Governors permitted 654 yards to Middle Tennessee and 618 to Wisconsin.
Safety Jeremy Ross, the OVC Co-Defensive Player of the Week for his three fumble-recovery performance at Middle Tennessee, had seven first-half stops, including being involved in a quarterback sack against Tennessee State. He finished with nine tackles. He had seven tackles, including the team’s only sack, against Wisconsin. He had four stops against Tennessee Tech, including a tackle for loss.
Special Team Notes
Sophomore kicker Stephen Stansell is a perfect 16-of-16 on extra-point attempts and 9-of-12 on field goal attempts so far this season. Stansell endured only his season’s third miss Saturday against Southeast Missouri when he missed on a 38-yard first-quarter attempt.
After opening the season averaging 40 yards per punt or better in all five games, senior Ryan Key endured his season’s worst performance against Southeast Missouri, averaging only 32.0 yards per punt. However, that largely was because he shanked an 11-yard punt in the first half while trying to angle a punt deep inside SEMO territory. His other two punts were 45 and 40 yards. He still is ranked 11th in FCS punting. The previous week he was named honorable mention punter performer by the College Football Performance Awards after he averaged 47 yards per punt against Tennessee Tech.
Sophomore placekicker Stephen Stansell was one of 32 kickers who received September recognition for the Fred Mitchell Award. The annual Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award (also known as the Fred Mitchell Award) is provided to the nation’s top collegiate place-kicker among more than 600 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, III and NAIA football teams. Stansell was one of 11 FCS placekickers to be recognized along with eight Division II, 10 Division III and three from NAIA.
Kicker Stephen Stansell, who tied a school record with four field goals as the Govs rallied for a 26-23 win against Tennessee State, September 18th, was named FCS College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Placekicker Co-Performer of the Week. The 5-11, 183-pound sophomore from Athens was a perfect 4-for-4 on the day against TSU at LP Field, scoring 14 of APSU’s 26 points. The four field goals tied the school record originally set by Tom McMillan, September 5th, 1987, at Kansas State.
Earlier this season senior punter Ryan Key boomed a career-best 70-yard fourth-quarter punt at Middle Tennessee. It was the Govs’ longest punt since Jaime Iracheta booted one 65 yards against Morehead State, September 4th, 1997.
College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) named Ryan Key honorable mention Punter Performer of the Week after he averaged 44.7 yards per punt, including a 70 yarder, at Middle Tennessee. September 11th. The 44.7 average was the second best of his career.
Terrence Holt, with his eight returns against Wisconsin, set the career FCS record for kickoff returns. He now has 170 for his career
With his eight combined returns at Wisconsin, Holt set the FCS record for total kick (kick + punt) returns. He now has 217.
All-America kick returner Terrence Holt has chalked up at least 1,100 yards in kickoff returns in each of his three previous seasons. He has 570 yards in kick returns entering this week’s game.
Senior linebacker Ricky Thomas has blocked six kicks during his career, including three last season.